How To Determine Your Target Audience

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Blog by Innovative Media Group, LLC

Blog by Innovative Media Group, LLC

Jon Petro

There are so many different facets to creating a successful marketing campaign for your company.
The most important one, and essentially the start of your marketing campaign, is determining your target market/audience.
A target market/audience is the “particular group of consumers at which your product or service is aimed.” Depending on the size of your company, you may have more than one.
Recognizing your target market(s) is the start of your marketing campaign. You must design your content in a way that will reach your intended audience. This includes designing your marketing efforts so it is beneficial to consumers.

Following specific guidelines will help you narrow down your market research. You should ask yourself these four questions:

What Is My Customer Base?

Determining who your customers are and why they buy your product or service can help you determine whether you want to continue marketing to the same customer base, or if you’d like to direct your efforts elsewhere.

Determining your current customer base can bring clarity to which market generates the most business. It can also help you identify if your relationship with this customer base is mutually beneficial.

Who Are My Competitors Marketing To?

Whether you’re offering plumbing services or selling medical devices, it’s important to research your competitors’ target markets to make sure you aren’t fighting for the same people.

Perhaps one of your competitors is missing a niche market that can be extremely successful to you. Customers determine who they will buy from by balancing out what sets each product or service apart from the other. Big companies tend to have their sights set on “the mass market,” however smaller, entrepreneurial companies need to satisfy the individual to eventually gain a mass-market following.

What Demographics Should I Target?

The demographics of your target market can include age, gender, socioeconomic status, or education level. Reaching out to specific demographics is especially useful for smaller companies so that they can effectively compete with larger businesses.

Don’t confuse pin-pointing a particular demographic with exclusion. Having a target market identifies who wants and needs your product or service. Find these people and, if you offer a quality product/service, you are likely to please the consumer. Word will spread to other potential customers and generate even more business.

If you want to narrow down your research even further, you can include the psychographics of your audiences such as personality, attitude, lifestyle, and overall behavior. The psychographics of your audience will help you determine what types of promotional and marketing efforts to target them effectively.

What Is My Niche?

Once you have gathered your research (customer base, competitors, demographics, etc.), you can choose your niche. 
Perhaps you have determined that you want to continue reaching out to 25-40-year-olds.

Now you can ask yourself:

  • “Is my target market big enough?”
  • “What marketing tactics will effectively reach my audience?”

It’s important to remember not to break down your market too far.

Although your research emphasizes the specifics, you can have more than one niche market. You will also need to determine whether your marketing message needs to be different for each market, or if the same message can effectively reach them all.

Final Thoughts

Determining your target market is the hard part; however, when you find your market it is easier to balance out the options moving forward with your marketing campaign. Your company’s marketing team can find this information by researching marketing blogs, magazines that target your audiences, and even global and national competitors (not just local).

Websites like Facebook and LinkedIn are designated to help companies market to their audiences. You may also want to compare competitors’ markets and determine successful tactics to implement in your marketing strategy.